Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Best Actress, Oscars Ballot and My Own

I love actresses too much.

It makes life complicated for me emotionally. I fuss and fuss and fuss and refuse to fill out my Best Actress ballot each year because I don't want to leave any of my favorite ladies out. I don't want to hurt any of their (imaginary) feelings. Oscar, on the other hand, doesn't mind leaving my favorites out. They do it all the time.

The Oscar Nominees
  • Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
  • Helen Mirren, The Last Station
  • Carey Mulligan, An Education
  • Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe, Precious
  • Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
In truth, I like all five of those performances. I think they're all good and better than the films that house them and they all strike me as very "right"... at least in terms of the idea that the Oscar lists are essentially an industry stamp, a group pronouncement of "This is what we do and value!". You've got the big stars in biopics (Meryl & Sandra), the breakout sensation (Mulligan), the old pro who could do this in her sleep but does it very very very well you have to admit (Mirren) and the magical debut (Sidibe).

I want Meryl Streep to win.

I've made no secret about that. I'm tired of waiting for that third Oscar to come and she's just delightful in Julie & Julia even if it's no patch on something like The Devil Wears Prada which she should have won for (I'm sorry but what she accomplished there was far beyond what Helen Mirren was doing in The Queen). But she didn't make my list (just barely). See what I mean about complicated emotions?

Whatever the outcome of Oscar's race -- and I can feel myself checking out on Best Actress in particular (my favorite category) -- because if Streep isn't going to win I'm so not interested. (I think Bullock's nomination is cute in a Big Hollywood way. But all the wins make me nauseous. That's taking it way too far. I see Roberto Benigni dancing on chairs again and everybody being embarrassed about their gigantor-obsession almost immediately after the house lights go up.)

My Favorite
But it's all beside the point anyway. I knew the Oscar year would be ruined for me the minute I saw Tilda Swinton in Julia some months ago.

I knew she'd barely be in the conversation come awards season but not only do I think it's the best performance of 2009, I think it's the best performance of 2008 AND 2009... (and maybe 2007, too). That's how great it is. Gold medal! Sorry to give the game away. And though I knew my favorite iconoclastic actress would barely be in the conversation I was and still am shocked that not one critics group could give it up for her. That's forty(proof) kinds of crazy. That's as crazy, reckless, incompetent and dumb as Julia herself! It's even dumber than Julia once you add in the widespread inexplicable shunning of Abbie Cornish in Bright Star. Look, I love Emily Blunt so don't take this the wrong way. She's done more for me than Abbie Cornish (in general) but no way was she more deserving of year-end attention for her costume parade than Cornish was for hers.

a drunk criminal, an illiterate victim, a precocious schoolgirl,
a barefoot psycho and a lovestruck seamstress

And yours?

P.S. You can now vote for your favorite among the Oscar nominees on the Best Actress page.

P.P.S. My 15 favorite lead actresses of the year (in alpha order) at this particular moment.

I didn't see everything obvs. And, oh crap, I know who I forgot already...

P.P.P.S. Have you O.D.ed on actressness just reading all of this?


brandz said...


You may get alot of attention for this post. I wholeheartedly agree with your choice as to who SHOULD win Oscar Best Actress, and why.

John T said...

Nathaniel, I have to ask-why is Bullock considered on Benigni levels when she makes your Top 15, but Cotillard isn't considered on Benigni levels when she wasn't in your Top 15? Just curious, nothing more.

My actresses of the year would be:

Penelope Cruz (Broken Embraces)
Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Tilda Swinton (Julia)
Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)

Jim T said...


1) I must see Thirst (It will be in Greece in 2 or 3 weeks I think)

2) So happy you liked Gwyneth!

3) You should have told Dr Tilda that she takes this year's golden medal before announcing that Benning and Williams beat her at Sundance. Now, Mrs Julia will hunt you down :p
(I hope you got it. I know you got it)

4) I'm glad Deschanel didn't make the cut

5) "Have you O.D.ed on actressness just reading all of this?"


Jude said...

I'm a little confused. Meryl isn't on your ballot and you want her to win, but Carey and Gabourey are on both your and Oscar's lists and you don't want either of them to win? Do you want Streep to receive more of a body of work trophy?

brandz said...

i've just been notified that there are some really nasty posts (really bad) appearing on Oscar Buzz wishing Meryl Streep dead, shoving Oscars down her throat and pissing on her. this is real vitriol folks. these apparently have been posted by rabid Bullock (TBS) fans regarding the Oscar race for Best Actress. some of these posts have been archieved on the Meryl Streep site at IMDB at the bottom of the page in the comments section. read for yourself. i realize we live in a nation divided, but this type of hate should not exist with Oscar too.

Robert Hamer said...

@ brandz: Geez, and I thought Avatar fans were unbearable...

Anonymous said...


you must really get to "the headless woman." and that film actually deserves its leading performance.


Jim T said...

Nathaniel, which film did you forget? The Stoning of Soraya M or Séraphine?

Lucky said...

To me it's Carey Mulligan all the way. I haven't seen Julia or Bright Star though (and I want to, after all I've read about it in here and other blogs).

It's just that for a moment during the middle of the year I really thought Carey could win. You know, in a Julie Christie in Darling and Audry Hepburn in Roman Holiday kind of way. But now she's completely out of the picture. People are saying she's not even the one who could pull an upset. Whatever, it's still nice to see her nominated, and I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more from her.

My current lineup would be:

-Carey Mulligan in An Education
-Gabourey Sidibe in Precious
-Maya Rudolph in Away we Go
-Catalina Saavedra in The Maid

I haven't been impressed by anyone else and I still got a lot to watch, but that'll do for now.

adam k. said...

Tilda Swinton in Julia is AWESOME.

I don't even love the movie as a whole all that much, but I find myself wanting to watch it all the time just to watch Tilda Swinton do her thing. It has not diminished in the slightest since (both times) I saw it. Just one of the most compulsively watchable performances I've ever seen. The phrase "firing on all cylinders" cannot be more aptly used than here. And that screenshot with the title is gorgeous.

Glad to see you liked Sandra enough for the top 15. As unrelentingly mediocre as the movie was, I really really liked her in it, and I totally see why she's winning things. She singlehandedly made it watchable. Not good, mind you. But totally watchable.

I want Meryl to win, too, but honestly I didn't love J&J and never left it thinking Meryl should WIN the oscar for THAT. So I've just resigned myself to Sandra taking this one. It happens. And if Tilda Swinton isn't in the running, I don't really care. I'm just looking forward to seeing Sandra be all endearing and adorable in her speech. Or maybe to being pleasantly surprised by a Streep win.

Ryan said...

Since I get that vibe that Tilda Swinton is taking home her 2nd richly deserved Film Bitch gold metal… I’m going to overlook both the Gainsbourgh snub AND the fact that Sandra Bullock ranked higher than Allison Lohman’s compelling and game work in "Drag Me to Hell".

bring on Best Actor (and your Top 10! ;))

Sam Brooks said...

Though Tilda Swinton is undeniably the pick of this crop, I think Kim Ok-vin is an awesome, inspired choice. I love to see her here.

DJ said...

Just curious, did you get a chance to see Knightley in The Edge of Love. It was one of her best performances and she makes my top 10.

Ben said...

Great picks Nathaniel (I agree 4/5) and I understand about Streep. I prefer Mulligan (and maybe Sidibe) in the race, but if I had a vote it just might go to Streep because I so want her to win over Bullock.

My 5 would be:

Alex said...

Nathaniel, I'm curious who the gal you immediately realized you forgot was. I really loved Julia Roberts in DUPLICITY. She comes in 6th for me, barely missing the nomination.

I still need to see ANTICHRIST and BRIGHT STAR! I keep hearing Charlotte Gainsbourg and Abbie Cornish are freakin brilliant in those films.

Right now, my Oscar ballot would be:

Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds)
Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)
Tilda Swinton (Julia)

I still can't decide which I like the most, though! Streep, Swinton, and Mulligan will probably be the medalists, but I keep switching their order!

DJ said...

And just thinking about An Education, my biggest problem is that the film/Mulligan *doesn't* show Jenny's schoolgirl ignorance/naivety. She is all confidence (clearly shown in the confrontation with Thompson's character). We never see any nuances of her in way over her head. So the ending and the repercussions of her recent decisions aren't as resonant as one would hope. If the main message was that Jenny was all book-smart but not life-smart, it didn't come across as well as it should have.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

I just don't like Julia. Swinton's good in it, but I'm always very aware that she's *playing* Julia. Just something about her performance is so mechanical to me.

My nominees:
Abbie Cornish, Bright Star
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Zoe Saldana, Avatar
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Cinesnatch said...

I can't wait to see Antichrist and Julia!

joy said...

This post just reminded me how badly I did in the third round of Actress Psychic Contest...

Can not wait for round four to begin!

Javier Aldabalde said...

Wonderful lineup. Surprised to see the nomination for THIRST.

Speaking of Tilda (my favorite performance of the year as well), I wrote an article on her in Julia a few weeks ago:


txtcritic said...

Nathaniel, you should be ashamed of yourself -- ASHAMED -- for including Meryl's turn in "It's Complicated" as one of your top 15. You're officially in the "if she farted for two hours, I'd still love it" camp.

Sid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sid said...

My picks for the year:

1. Tilda Swinton
2. Abbie Cornish
3. Maria Onetto
4. Carey Mulligan
5. Gabourey Sidibe

Streep is a close #6 so I'll be happy if she wins. It's depressing that the two best performances in this category went unrecognized this season.

Julian Todd said...

I mostly agree with you, as I usually do. Of the women you have mentioned I only missed the performances of Kim Ok-Bin in Thirst (and have moved it to the top of my Netflix Queue) and Gainsbourgh.

I couldn’t agree more that Abbie Cornish is beyond wonderful in Bright Star. She is by far my biggest Oscar Snub of the season. Perhaps I am clouded by my distaste of Precious, but I just didn’t connect with Sidibe. And I think Carey Mulligan just made it look too easy. She was wonderful and perhaps her ease is diminishing her performance.

As far as Tilda is concerned (and feel free to be imaginarily hurt) I couldn’t get past the fact that I thought the film was poorly directed and written. She is amazing, but at what point can an actress save a failing film (that is about an hour too long)?

Two women that make my list, that are entirely snubbed by you, are Maya Rudolph in Away We Go and Michelle Monaghan in Trucker. Maya is so amazingly fresh and modern. I saw SO many women I know in her performance and the subtlety is unreal. Monaghan also shines as a hard to love woman who you can’t help but root for despite the fact that she tries to keep you at a distance.

That said, you continue to be a compass for my cinematic experiences and THANK YOU!

My 5 (with several films yet to see) would be….

Maya Rudolph - Away We Go
Abbie Cornish - Bright Star
Michelle Monaghan - Trucker
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side

Yes, I have included Sandra on my list. I have to admit that the film pushed every single one of my tear ducts into submission. I have always adored Sandra and this is arguably her best performance, ever. Also, I will not be at all upset if Meryl wins. She is one of the greatest actresses of ALL time. I didn’t like her film, but she did a wonderful job personifying Julia Child.

Robert Hamer said...

"Just something about her performance is so mechanical to me."

Strange that you would say that, Walter, because that's how I would describe Zoe Saldana in Avatar.

Robert Hamer said...

Sorry for the double-post, but

"She is amazing, but at what point can an actress save a failing film (that is about an hour too long)?"

The same way Jeff Bridges saves Crazy Heart from being unbearably boring and badly written.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

@Robert Hamer: Goddamn subjectivity...

Rick said...

I truly hope Streep wins... I,too, do not feel it is her best performance ( but a very good one )... Bullock was good in a poor movie, but there were many other performances that deserved that 5th place.. Abbie Cornish, for sure!

I love that Meryl is not, and to my knowledge, never has openly campaigned for an Oscar , while Bullock is making the rounds on TV shows .. and saying "I know I am not going to win... "

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

I've only seen around 50 movies from 2009 and I've only got four women on my list:

Kim Hye-ja for Mother
Carey Mulligan for An Education
Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia
Tilda Swinton for Julia

Steolicious said...

My fav. performances from 2009:

Tilda Swinton - Julia
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Brenda Blethyn - London River

Cornish and Streep were good but I missed something so, I think they do not make my list. But this depends on what may come with unseen films.

There are so many movies I still have to see like "Precious", "The Blinde Side", "Nine", "Séraphine"... the list goes on and on... why do so many movies start so late in Austria -__-

Unknown said...

have you seen rachel weisz in agora?

tim r said...

Nat, one critics group did give it up for Tilda! But it was a whole year ago, and on the other side of the Atlantic, so you may not have noticed... (understandably)


She totally owes me for that one. Well, me and the other judges. Tragic, I nonetheless agree, that she couldn't fight her way onto such a weak Oscar ballot...

cal roth said...

It's complicated...

I love Carey Mulligan since the day I saw the movie. The performance is so perfect and brilliant that I can't help being in love with her. Now, I saw Julie again and thought Tilda was maybe better than Carey, but she doesn't have that "Love me Truly Madly Deeply" feeling that Carey brings to the movie - and she only brings that because the perfomance is brilliant!

So confused!

You know: when an actress is so great AND brings an untoppable charisma to the screen, doesn't that make her better than an actress that gives a slightly better performance?

I am not saying that because Jenny is a far more likable character than Julia, but because I really felt Carey's performance was so stunning that her greatness overcomes her greatness as an actress.

All the comparisions were right: it was like watching Julie Christie in Darling.

You don't see the kind of amazement every day. Yes, she would win my gold medal.

brandz said...

Bullock is mediocre at best. she should be grateful she got a nomination and no more. i think Mulligan and An Education are way over-rated. the movie and the performance just didn't connect with me. once again Streep creates an indelible character, both layered and nuanced. granted it wasn't the best movie but the performance is spectacular. if we're honoring a performance, Streep for the win.

OtherRobert said...

I watched Julia maybe two weeks ago now and I'm still obsessing over Tilda Swinton's performance. I get why it had no traction (a bit too...severe? vicious? child abduction-y?), but that doesn't make the disappointment any easier to deal with.

Ranked Ballot:

Tilda Swinton, Julia
Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Alison Lohman, Drag Me To Hell
Charlotte Gainsbourgh, Antichrist
Marion Cotillard, Nine (I still think lead was accurate placement, since the film puts her on equal footing with DDL in giving her two solos versus all the other women having one. Her presence also drives the action of the film and, selfishly, putting her here means I can jam an extra Nine performance in Supporting).

I haven't seen An Education, Julie and Julia, The Last Station, The Stoning of Soraya M, or Bright Star yet, so this very well may change. Also, I struggle to figure out category placement for the talented ladies of Orphan, since it's such an ensemble film. Isabelle Fuhrman is the title character, and Vera Farmiga is the suffering mother, but neither jump out lead for me.


brandz -- i'm sad about the anti-Streep vitriol. but i don't think i've ever seen a year wherein there was a somewhat close race that didn't result in vicious "teams", you know? It happened with Christie/Cotillard. It happened with Swank/Bening. it happens.

John T my thing with Cotillard is that I totally get why people who love it would rank it as the top performance of the year. So I don't see anything weird about the obsession other than that I don't share it and think her largeness (and the film) work against any emotional impact. There's no crescendo and modulation... it's all climax. That's my read on it. But with Benigni/Bullock and other charmers who fought their way to wins... sometimes a #1 ranking makes absolutely ZERO sense to me. Like "who could find this the best of the year?

hope that answers the question.

Ryan I've talked to a few people about Lohman's work. I liked Drag Me To Hell but I have to admit that I didn't see anything special in her. And I don't "get" her as an actress. I have yet to enjoy one of her performances.

cal i get what you're saying. The only time i think maybe i felt that way is CHER in Moonstruck. I was, like the Academy gaga for it... though it's kinda hard to argue that Glenn Close didn't deserve it.

Sid yay, someone who understands! Sometimes the rankings are so close that other factors play in. Basically for me

ranks 1&2 are way above the others... but 3-9 are like really similar in quality to me.


Miguelon -- that never opened in the US

Glenn said...

Wonderful line up. I'm glad you still liked Mirren - I did too - since she was better in The Last Station than The Queen (good gawd, The Queen!)

Swinton is just EPIC in every single way in Julia. It's a tragedy that nobody else seemed to notice.

My lineup atm is

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Antichrist
Katie Jarvis, Fish Tank
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gracie Otto, Three Blind Mice
Tilda Swinton, Julia.

Although I'm still deciding whether I should make Fish Tank a 2010 movie or not! Outside of them there are Marissa Gibson (Samson & Delilah), Jennifer Aniston (Management), Gabby Sidibe, Zoe Saldana, Helen Mirren, Melanie Laurant, Jessica Haines (Disgrace), Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow (Two Lovers). So much for it being a "weak" year for actresses (isn't it always to the straight male critics?)

cal roth said...

Yeah, Close was brilliant, better than Cher, but I would also vote for her. This the perfect example: two great actresses, and the winner tops the better one with this strange combination of acting and charisma, the whole IT thing.

I miss this IT thing. It's so rare today.

Anonymous said...

As much as I love Meryl Streep, I do not think "Julie & Julia" is the movie that should give her her third Oscar. I still cannot understand why she is receiving so much love for this performance, which to me is not one of her best. Carey Mulligan's performance is way, way superior. Honestly, I wouldn't mind if Sandra Bullock wins even if I am not too impressed with her as an actress.

Jason Adams said...

Yay for the Kim Ok-bin love! Something (besides Tilda in Julia of course; that's a given) we def. agree upon. The film itself is probably too messy for its own good but Kim's just fantastic in it. She tears up the screen.

monkey101 said...

I live her and I'm a fan but, is Sandra Bullock performance in "Blind Side" even worthy of a win let alone a nomination.

I hope she doesn't win for just being a big hollywood star.

Anonymous said...

Glad you liked Thirst! I'm a high school friend of Kim Ok-vin (we weren't exactly a friend though) and she's a beautiful girl. I still find problems in her vocalization but she's good in other things.

- Adam Kim

Steolicious said...

2. try - I forgot Mirren... :)
Tilda Swinton - Julia
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Brenda Blethyn - London River
Carey Mulligan - An Education
One Slot is free

Maybe for Cotillard, the Séraphine Woman, Blunt, Sidibe, Bullock, Ronan,... haven't seen it

Or Streep, Cornish, Laurent are better as the other contenders for me.

Hilary Swank said...

4/5 same as me.

Mulligan is my #6.
Zooey is my #5

Craig said...

I'm with Jude. I don't understand your preference, Nate, for Streep winning an Oscar over Mulligan and Sidibe when the latter two are in your top five and Streep isn't. Just curious.

My top five, btw (in no particular order):

*Tilda Swinton "Julia"
*Yolande Moreau "Seraphine"
*Shohreh Aghdashloo "The Stoning of Soraya M."
*Michelle Monaghan "Trucker"
*Carey Mulligan "An Education"

Although 2009 had few outstanding, stellar performances, this past year resistered a surprising number of solid characterizations in a broad variety of roles.

I could very easily scratch this list and come up with another equally deserving (think Saavedra, Gainsbourg, Streep, Sidibe, Cornish). Looking forward to seeing Kim Ok-Bin in "Thirst".

Murtada said...

I want Meryl to win too. Come on academy what does the woman have to do to win another Best Actress Oscar? Jodie Foster, Sally Field and most annoyingly Hilary Swank have 2 and Meryl only 1. Come on now, make this haapen.

However I have to say that Gabourey Sidibe gave the most emotional performance this year. That was the one I responded to the most and totally got me.

Unknown said...

Oh, it's terrible, Agora is a very good film, and rachel's performance is amazing.

Why not in US? what a shame¡


Craig & Jude... normally i am a proponent of 'give wins based on performance alone'. But like everyone, I have my moments where I break my own rules. And with Streep, I'm just beyond sick of the wait. She's so great. And I loved her in Julie & Julia... and if the movie were more about her and gave her more to do I'm pretty certain she'd be in my top five.

and then there's the knowledge that wins for Mulligan or Sidibe probably wouldn't be good for their careers. People end up resenting the people who win young.

again... normally i try not to think about these things but Streep is a special case for me. If Pfeiffer were nominated, I'd be rooting for her, though. They're 21 years late giving her an Oscar. At least Streep has 2... albeit from the first 5 years of her career (which barely scratches the surface of her filmography)

kin said...

Didn't you have a post about how you liked Bullock more in The Proposal (vs Blind Side)?


kin -- it was more i like her dramatic beats in The Proposal more than the ones in Blind Side and the comedic beats in The Blind Side more than the ones in the Proposal.

hope that makes sense. probably doesnt. :)

i keep changing my mind on what quality level i think the Blind Side performance is but i know it's not "win" quality. That's so clear.

I understand loving Hollywood stars but there are limits to how much Hollywood should love their own just because they happen to be successful. i wish her fans would calm down. :)


oh, and i meant the films (i prefer The Proposal as a movie)

KEVIN M. said...

I agree with every single gushing compliment you toss at Tilda Swinton, Nathaniel. I just think them about Gainsbourg, instead. :-)


oh that earlier Sandra piece is here by the way

jimmy said...

streep really should have won last year. the reason she didn't is because kate winslet was "over due". all this gets silly. people end up winning for the wrong movie / the wrong year. streep should have 4 by now - ironweed, sophie's choice, kramer vs. kramer, and doubt. (however i am glad cher won). al pacino won for a horrible movie...liz taylor in butterfield 8 - OMG - that's horrendous. john wayne in true grit? yikes. katharine ehpburn has 2 too many - guess who's throwing up dinner & on golden pond - not well deserved.

Michael W. said...

I DON'T want Bullcok to win the Oscar, though it will probably happen. I would be fine with Streep, Mulligan or Sidibe (haven't seen Mirren).

My own ballot looks like this:

Abbie Cornish - Bright Star
Mélanie Laurent - Inglourious Basterds
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Maryl Streep - Julie & Julia

I haven't decided on my winner yet, but it will most likely be Sidibe. I haven't seen Tilda Swinton's performance yet but I will be very surprised if she makes it into my top 5. I'm not a fan. At all. I still don't get her Oscar win.

brandz said...

i cannot wait to see London River with Brenda Blethyn. i think she's an outstanding actor. her performance in secrets & lies was brilliant. one of my faves.

Vance said...

Too bad Carey Mulligan has no shot at this. She was better than both Meryl and Sandra. Sucks to follow this category this year. Hope she at least wins BAFTA.

Philip Harville said...

I think Sandra did really well in The Blind Side and deserves a nomination. Everyone knows the politics that go into these things.

I personally think Gabby Sidibe (or Mulligan) should win the Oscar. Her performance was magnificent and a lot harder than some of the other performances, and it's a debut. I honestly think she could pull an upset and the Academy would be ready to crown the second black Best Actress winner.

Meryl would be good (I mean who would argue with her ever winning an Oscar) but really, this is one of her least Oscar-worthy performances. She's still great though.

I have a feeling Sandra will win though, since Blind Side got a best pic nod (ergh). I'll be fine with that, it'll definitely be weird with Sandra winning an Oscar though...

I'm still sad Marion Cotillard didn't get sh*t for Nine. I understand people didn't receive the movie very well but that doesn't mean you can't reward an amazing performance, and since Penelope was nom'd, I think Marion could've and should've easily taken her place.

eduardo said...

still haven't seen Swinton, but i have to say your lineup is pretty great. Here's mine

Abbie Cornish, Bright Star***
Gabby Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia
Carey Mulligan, An education
Paulina Gaitan, Sin Nombre

r.u. Magaly Solier, The milk of Sorrow

Clover said...

I just think that we are all here because we love movies, and even we haven't watched all the movies and the performances. So what's left for people in the Academy? I can't help but to think that they didn't even see Mirren, because in order for her to get a nom Academy voters should have seen the Last Station AND vote for her. And I honestly don't think that there's enough people who have seen that movie.
I think they were voting on name recognition alone.

mohammed said...

Holy freaking cow! Tilda is perfect in Julia. I saw the movie yesterday and I thought it's old and that's why she was not nominated! I can't believe that she did not get an Oscar nomination! What the F!!!!

kin said...

Ah, thanks Nat. I misremembered.

Anonymous said...

Great nominees, though I don't get your finalists and I'm happy they didn't make it.
I'd replace Mulligan with Saveedra in a heartbeat. I blame Scherfig and Hornby for this, but Jenny could have been so much more complicated and interesting if they tried a little harder instead of going for light and warm.
Streep was way better in "It's Complicated" (I thought you were in IC camp as well), Cruz, amazing as she is, can hardly be called a character in "Los Abrazos Rotos", I officialy hate "Cheri" and Pfeiffer in it.

J.D. said...

Never heard of the "Thirst" girl before. Tilda Swinton was indeed awesome in "Julia," but the film itself was a hot mess. Gabby and Carey were great. Yes! Abbie Cornish! I liked her too.

This race could have really been something with the right nominees. Can't get excited about a Meryl-lite triffle winning an Oscar or Sandra's southern slumming winning either. Mirren is never going to get to my area. Gabby and Carey should be dueling this out for the win, but they sadly aren't and won't be. :(

Franco Marciano said...

Ugh! Why only five spots? Best Picture has TEN nominees this year. The world of cinema is large. There's no reason it has to be five. Too many great and overlooked performances.

mrripley said...

OK this year with your choices but Abbie Cornish was no more period than I am,totally don't get her performance.

alluhrey said...

of your five noms, i've seen only gabourey sidibe and carey mulligan. i prefer the raw performance of sidibe (although the film is heavy-handed for me) and found mulligan's take too breezy and shallow for a character that was supposed to be conflicted. i was expecting female teen angst and saw "cute".

like yourself, I WANT MERYL STREEP TO WIN! at this point in her career, i want her to win for anything, in anything! that wouldn't diminish her a bit in my view.

oh, and i'm with a very small minority who believe that helen mirren's acting in "the queen" was overrated. there was nothing special to it and wondered what drove everyone else to hail a very ordinary performance. my only explanation is the abiding love and respect for the real-life british queen and a world-fascination for the ex-presumptive queen princess diana. meryl on the other hand as miranda priestly blew me away and was breathtaking. that was a most smartly inventive and wittily creative performance.

after watching "the last station", i was annoyed by the over-the-top and scenery-chewing performance of mirren and wondered again what drove everyone else to praise and hail it. i would even speculate that had meryl taken the part and did it exactly the way mirren did it, another heavy streep-bashing would enliven the same critics who now love mirren doing it.

KarlaT. said...

Couldn't agree more with Meryl winning!, it would really be a joke if the Academy deny her the Oscar ONCE MORE, I mean, she is 60, she has box office success, she is a real artist and doesn't play by the rules of "Hollywood", seriously, she couldn't deserve it more at this point.

Rick said...

To Alluhrey ... actually at one point Streep and Anthony Hopkins were in talks to do this film.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

See, I had the exact opposite reaction to Cornish. In the early scenes particularly, she was underlining Brawne's headstrongness in a very Winona-Ryder-y mid-90s you-go-girl way that jarred with the setting (ditto, Whishaw's new-agey emo-ness). I'm with all the ignorant precursors. It's an uneven, by no means nomination-worthy performance.

That said, I'm not too confident in what's nomination worthy just yet seeing as I haven't seen a third of the candidates. So far, I'd have Swinton and Saavedra neck and neck for the win - if I were to give out an award, I'd give it to Saavedra just because she hasn't been getting the attention she deserves, and because she worked a miracle in a much less showy role: it's essentially a two-note character on paper, and yet every scene is riveting to watch precisely because you want to see where she's gonna take it - she keeps you on your toes and you never notice her 'acting'. Beyond those two ladies, like Pedro Almodovar, I seem to go into a trance these days any time Penelope pops up on screen, so she gets my bronze. Gwyneth Paltrow seems to have become a genius-level actress while I wasn't looking - though I've always liked her on-screen, from Flesh and Bone right through to Iron Man, she really raises her game in Two Lovers. Also I greatly admired Charlotte Gainsbourg for making me emotionally invest in a character that on paper reads like a rushed undergrad thesis. And though I'm not quite ready to cry hosannah, I did have a ball watching Carey Mulligan without necessarily having a ball watching An Education.

Anonymous said...

Ah, This is awesome! Puts to bed
several misnomers I've seen

Anonymous said...

I agree with DJ, although it wouldn't have made this year's list, I thought Keira Knightley was brilliant in the Edge of Love.

While I think Sandra Bullock is a good actress, I really can't see a win for the Blind Side. And I found the snub of Abbie Cornish absolutely inexplicable! No offense, but she was better than Mulligan was in an Education. How did this happen? Cruz shouldn't have been nominated for Nine but Broken Embraces. Haven't seen Julia, but Tilda has always wow'd me. Finally, Melanie Laurent in my opinion gave a wonderful performance in Inglorious Basterds. The scene where she is sitting around with a bunch of Nazis and Hans Landa enters the room and she recognizes him, she was fantastic in that scene and should have gotten a nomination for best supporting actress for that scene alone. It's inexplicable again how the awards season missed this.

All in all, I am pretty disappointed in awards season this year. It's one of the weakest years in recent memory.

Anonymous said...

Ah, This is spot on! Clears up
many misnomers I've heard

Rick said...

I like your nominees way more than the Academy's ... I hope Streep wins!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ah, This is great! Dispells
several contradictions I've heard